Digital agency vs a Technical Agency

Digital agency vs a Technical Agency

Dear Mum,

I know you still don’t understand what I do. After all these years. And I really appreciate that you took the time to explain to your Book Club what you think I do and ask them. And even though they told you it sounds like we are a Digital Agency —- we’re not.

I’m not trying to be pedantic. It’s not that there is anything wrong with being a Digital Agency. It’s just that we’re different —- we’re a Technical Agency.

A Digital Agency is what many Ad Agencies became. Creative but with a splash of digital technology. Tech Agencies are the other way —- software developers with a splash of creative.

To explain: say you had an idea or product. And you need help explaining or selling this idea. You’ll need a nice looking web site, some ads to pop up on other sites, and a catchy brand or cool video. You need a Digital Agency.

But say you needed to make something. Your idea or product. You want to create AirBnB for Book Clubs. Or your company already exists, but you need to deepen the digital experience. Improve usability. Make it faster or better. Then you need a Technical Agency.

The people are also different. An agency team will typically be a Suit, a Creative and a Technologist (or at least someone with a lot of tattoos).

A Tech Agency will have a team of a tech lead, a project manager, and a user experience / design person. They’ll want to start making things straight away.

Where this all gets confusing is sometimes the Digital Agency will have an offshore “technical partner”. I know —- it’s confusing, right? If you were the client why not just deal with the “technical partner”? They’re probably worried about communication and details getting dropped. Remember that time you tried to sort out your insurance claim with that offshore call centre? Don’t worry, I am sure you’re in the system somewhere. Computers are amazing.

Seems like all the cool kids are Digital Agencies these days

Ben Still


10 Aug 2018

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